Number of People Serving Time in State and Federal Prisons in the US

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"The number of prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction at year-end 2017 (1,489,400) decreased 8% (down 126,100 prisoners) from 2009, when the
U.S. prison population peaked at 1,615,500 (table 1). Federal prisoners made up 12% of the total U.S. prison population at year-end 2017 and accounted for 33% of the decline in the total prison population. The number of federal prisoners decreased from 189,200 at year-end 2016 to 183,100 at year-end 2017. This was the fifth consecutive year of population decline among federal prisoners.

"States held 1,306,300 prisoners at year-end 2017, which was down 1% (12,600) from year-end 2016. A total of 29 states showed decreases in year-end prison populations from 2016 to 2017 (table 2). The states with the largest declines in prisoners were Illinois (down 2,200), Louisiana (down 1,900), and Oklahoma (down 1,800). Of the 20 states that showed increases in prison populations from 2016, the states with the largest increases were California (up 960), Tennessee (up 780), and North Carolina (up 697). Maine had the same number of prisoners (2,404) at year-end 2016 as at year-end 2017."


Jennifer Bronson, PhD, and E. Ann Carson, PhD. Prisoners In 2017. Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 2019, NCJ252156, p. 3.

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